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Simplyrugged holster for S&W 500 -- initial impressions disappointing

Discussion in 'Handguns: Holsters and Accessories' started by duns, Aug 1, 2011.

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  1. duns

    duns Member

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    I took delivery this weekend of a simplyrugged pancake holster (the "loaded" model with 5 cartridge loops on the front, $90): http://www.simplyrugged.com/loaded-pancake/. My plan was to wear it as a belt holster. My gun is a S&W 500 magnum with 4" barrel. The holster "ears" with the belt slots are located on the centerline of the gun so the ears stand off an inch or two from my body when my belt is slack. On tightening my belt, the gap between the holster "ears" and my body reduces but is still significant. I had expected the inside surface of the pancake to be body contoured but it is not. Maybe my expectations were unrealistic?

    The real problem though is this. On tightening my belt to the point where my pants don't droop, the retention on the gun becomes very tight. It's tough to draw the gun and near impossible to reholster it. When not on a belt, the gun slides in and out of the holster quite nicely.

    My initial impression is that this holster is useless as a belt holster for a big revolver like the S&W 500 magnum. I am considering buying simplyrugged's "chesty puller" harness and wearing the gun on my chest, but that's not really where I wanted to carry it and its another $60 for the chesty puller.

    It's a good looking and well made holster but I'm not sure it works as a belt holster for a handcannon. I would be interested to hear from other people who have bought simplyrugged holsters for large-bore revolvers.
     
  2. WNC Seabee

    WNC Seabee Member

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    I have 4 simply rugged bolsters, including one for my 5" N Frame. You need to get it worn in ( not broken in). With wear the holster will begin to mold to you body. Also, check SR's website, or the insert that was in your package. Rob gives you instruction in how to speed up the wearing in process by putting the gun in plastic wrap the inserting in the holster....get his instructions for the details.

    Last thing I'd want with that hand cannon is a loose fit where the gun could fall out.
     
  3. duns

    duns Member

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    So i just need to stretch it? I guess the best way would be to wear it while the plastic-wrapped gun is in the holster?
     
  4. JTQ

    JTQ Member

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    This is not the characteristic of a true pancake holster. There are makers that use the basic pancake look, but put the molding on the out side panel and leave the body side flat, but they are not a true pancake.

    Galco explains why they do that in their "Concealable" info.
    http://www.usgalco.com/HolsterPG3.asp?ProductID=207&GunID=28

    High Noon describes why they don't.
    http://www.highnoonholsters.com/_Questions/_questions.html#44
    This is a characteristic of a pancake holster. You probably don't have a need for quick and easy reholstering with an X-frame revolver, but you do want to make sure it stays in your holster while out in the woods and this is what your holster will do for you.

    Some holster design info from Horseshoe Leather.
    http://www.holsters.org/holster-design.htm

    Make sure you are using a good sturdy gun belt. Those X-frames are huge (I'm pretty sure you know that:rolleyes:) and you need a very strong belt to hold that thing. I'd probably look for a horsehide belt or a belt with an internal stiffener.
     
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2011
  5. Lonerider357

    Lonerider357 Member

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  6. ArchAngelCD

    ArchAngelCD Member

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    Not only does your holster need time to form to your body, remember, you are carrying a VERY large revolver so the holster is also very wide. I highly doubt it's the holster that's poorly designed but the mere fact it's so large because of what you are carrying.

    That holster will take time to break in because it's made of good leather that will last a very long time.
     
  7. duns

    duns Member

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    Your photo shows a 1911 which is a flat gun but my S&W 500 has a 2" diameter cylinder! Though in my ignorance I had supposed that the holster manufacturer would have contrived to make it so that the gun is riding mostly in front as in your picture. Probably, that's impossible, or at least difficult, in a pancake design with a big-bore revolver.

    Anyway, I did as WNC Seabee suggested, and wrapped the gun in plastic and put it in its holster for a day or so. The holster stretched significantly (quite a surprising amount, actually). With my belt tightened so my pants don't droop, I can now easily draw the gun (it was difficult before). Reholstering is much easier than it was (it was impossible previously with belt done up tight) but it does require a bit of finagling. I've worn the rig for a few hours and the holster is starting to mold towards my body. So I think WNC Seabee was right when he said it just needed wearing in and some stretching. I think it will work quite well after I've worn it a while longer and maybe repeated the stretching if necessary.
     
  8. Lonerider357

    Lonerider357 Member

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    If made right the back layer of leather is slightly smaller and thicker than the front layer. Thus the gun fits more to the outside when molded! A little known trick!
     
  9. JTQ

    JTQ Member

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    Is the implication here that the OP's Simply Rugged holster is not made right?
    I think that is unfair assessment of their holsters.

    Simply Rugged is making pancake holsters along the lines of the original pancake design and thus they are "made right" as they have intended. You have modified the pancake design to something slightly different. Yours is a different holster from what Simply Rugged is selling.
     
  10. mtnkid85

    mtnkid85 Member

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    Sounds like youve gotten your issues figured out, but Ill go ahead and add a bit on the "chesty puller harness".

    I use the same holster, the loaded pancake, to carry a Ruger Alaskan along with the chest harness and I am absolutely sold on that style of carry. It takes a bit to get it adjusted so it rides how/where you want but once dialed in it does a good job of keeping the gun out of the way but still quickly accesible.

    So if your still pondering that option I fully endorse it for big revolvers.
     
  11. duns

    duns Member

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    It would seem perverse of SimplyRugged to go on making "traditional" pancakes, when with the slight modification suggested by JTQ, a better product would result. You could call the modified design an "improved pancake" rather than a "traditional pancake". It would still be a pancake.
     
  12. duns

    duns Member

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    Thanks for that feedback. I may very well buy the chesty puller harness.
     
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